Amtrak NEC Virginia Regional Service

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jp1822
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Lynchburgh to Roanoke

Post by jp1822 »

It would be great if the train to Lynchburgh could diverge and head to Roanoke. I visited this city twice for business purposes and took the Crescent down to Lynchburgh where we rented a car (at th airport - just in time before it closed upon arrival of the Crescent from NYC!) and headed out to Roanoke, VA for the conference. We stayed at a really nice facility and all along the highway from Lynchburg to Roanoke there were all kinds of Civil War and early American museum sites to visit, making me think that it must be a mecca for tourists. Anyway, we had to wake up early from Roanoke in order to catch the Crescent back north. Of course I happened to leave my tickets in the back seat of the rental car - didn't realize it until I had dropped it off at the airport and was at the Lynchburgh Amtrak station. At that time, you could still get "replacement tickets" for a $30 fee - or at least that's what it ended up costing me. There was four of us on the trip and we decided to book two roomettes and use them as day rooms. At the time it turned out cheaper to book it this way (meals included etc.). Course as the driver from Roanoke to Lynchburg and getting up at an ungodly early morning hour in Roanoke in order to make the Crescent, I did lower the upper bunk to take a nap until "last call for breakfast." Lunch was called around 11:00 a.m. as we were running ahead of schedule and it was announced there would just be one call for lunch. So we ate breakfast and lunch on the way back with relatively little time in between. We repeated the same trip the following year for the same conference. Unfortunately, since we arrived at the conference facility in the late evening and then departed in the early morning hours in the dark, we got a "night-time" view of Roanoke. And again we took note of all the hitoric signs along the way! But it definitely looked like a more "populated" town and area than say Lynchburgh!

In the instance that I had to get new tickets issued, I wonder if Amtrak (conductor and sleeping car attendant) would have actually taken me aboard considering they had a manifest of sleeping car passengers and the situation was explainable. And I barely got the tickets exchanged before the ticket clerk had to get the baggage assembled and get it loaded on the train. As a group of four, one if us (me) had essentialy (lost their ticket). Thank goodness the train was running 10 miuntes late. Course I don't advise running this risk of "losing tickets" and then trying to board without any. I just wanted to play it safe by having new tickets issued if it was just going to cost me $30 - even though looking back it I think that was a pretty high number in comparison to my "portion of the trip cost."

David Benton
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by David Benton »

I google mapped in on the area , seems to be more room on the east side of the yard to me .

i also street viewed main street station , not a single pedestrian in sight . does Google remove them ???
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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by Rockingham Racer »

Why would Amtrak need an Acca Yard bypass? If all trains go to Main St. Richmond, the bypass is a given.

afiggatt
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by afiggatt »

Rockingham Racer wrote:Why would Amtrak need an Acca Yard bypass? If all trains go to Main St. Richmond, the bypass is a given.
Perhaps somone who is familiar with the Acca Yard setup can provide the details, but from what I have read, there is no real bypass for passenger trains. That is why the padded travel time on the schedule for the NE Regionals that go to Hampton Roads from Staples Mill Rd station to Main Street station is around 27 minutes. The track distance is around 7 or 8 miles. Not very fast. For $90 to $100 million, wonder if that is is for 2 tracks bypassing the Acca yard to one side or a flyover of some sort?

Looking at the map/sat photos, it looks like all the LD trains going through Staples Mill Rd go through Acca yard as well, correct? Which means a Acca yard bypass would benefit all current Amtrak trains going south or east of Richmond, if the bypass were to get done ahead of the rest of the proposed $590 million project.

Jishnu
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by Jishnu »

afiggatt wrote: Looking at the map/sat photos, it looks like all the LD trains going through Staples Mill Rd go through Acca yard as well, correct? Which means a Acca yard bypass would benefit all current Amtrak trains going south or east of Richmond, if the bypass were to get done ahead of the rest of the proposed $590 million project.
Not only do they have to go through Acca Yard, but to get to Main Street Station they have to cross the entire main flow of freight traffic to get to the other side (east side) of the yard. Staples Mill platform is on the west side of the RF&P main. Hence the dire need for the bypass.

Trains that do not go to Main Street heading south at least do not have to cross the entire main flow of freight trains in and out of Acca Yard since they just turn off to the west to head south.

chefwrg
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by chefwrg »

Drove by the Staples Mill station yesterday. It appears they are tearing out the one track the goes between the station and the passenger platform and replacing it with two tracks. I'm assuming this will mean that all Amtrak trains will now go on one of these two tracks in between the platform and the station and leave the track on the outside of the platform for through traffic eleminating the bottleneck of freight traffic waiting for an Amtrak train to clear the station in order to pass by. There has also been a lot of track maintenance/upgrades in the area from Staples Mill Station to Acca Yard over the past couple of months.

AFTower
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Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by AFTower »

Hello,this new website with information on the new Northeast Regional service to and from Virginia might be helpful.
http://www.amtrakvirginia.com/Default.aspx

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Matt Johnson
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by Matt Johnson »

Lynchburg seems like an odd place to originate/terminate a Regional train. Is it really much of a population center? I hope someday they extend rail service to Roanoke, though I suppose I'd consider using the Lynchburg train to visit my alma mater (Virginia Tech) if they make a car rental place convenient to the Lynchburg station.

Darien Red Sox
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by Darien Red Sox »

Matt Johnson wrote:Lynchburg seems like an odd place to originate/terminate a Regional train. Is it really much of a population center? I hope someday they extend rail service to Roanoke, though I suppose I'd consider using the Lynchburg train to visit my alma mater (Virginia Tech) if they make a car rental place convenient to the Lynchburg station.
The population center they are after is Charlottesvile but there is now place to store or turn a train there so they have continued the train on the Lynchburg.
Some people complain about the traffic on I95, If you have a problem with traffic and the rails go where you are going, TAKE THE TRAIN!!!

Suburban Station
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by Suburban Station »

I have a friend who lives down there and makes regular trips to DC. currently he drives to a metro stop and takes the metro in

SwingMan
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by SwingMan »

Matt Johnson wrote:Lynchburg seems like an odd place to originate/terminate a Regional train. Is it really much of a population center? I hope someday they extend rail service to Roanoke, though I suppose I'd consider using the Lynchburg train to visit my alma mater (Virginia Tech) if they make a car rental place convenient to the Lynchburg station.

Well they've spent thousands of dollars renovating the station (see rrpicture archives.net) and they have a good place to turn the train, sidings, new platforms, a staffed station, Greyhound (top level of station) and car rentals near by. If the train was extended to Roanoak, it would require another trainset, and that defeats the purpose of this.

jamesinclair
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by jamesinclair »

Service started yesterday!

hi55us
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by hi55us »

I just got quoted a fare for lynchburg-boston (on 176) that is lower then the typical nyp-bos fare. Wow. Thats a long 12 1/2 hour ride for a regional train.

jp1822
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by jp1822 »

hi55us wrote:I just got quoted a fare for lynchburg-boston (on 176) that is lower then the typical nyp-bos fare. Wow. Thats a long 12 1/2 hour ride for a regional train.
This is going to be interesting to see how this can be used towards one advantage - from a price point (i.e. bailing out before Lynchburg somewhere on the NEC).

Darien Red Sox
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by Darien Red Sox »

How is this new service doing? How is the ridership as compared to expected?
Some people complain about the traffic on I95, If you have a problem with traffic and the rails go where you are going, TAKE THE TRAIN!!!

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